Every month when we pull our list of the top ten best-performing blog posts on the Buffer blog, we end up grabbing 11 because always, without fail, one of the top ten results is the root domain for our blog—the home page at blog.bufferapp.com.
First off, of the 4,917 email addresses that I received, 1,483 of them were for “Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel.” Is anyone else having a hard time believing that nearly 1,500 people from ONE company genuinely opted in to this list?
Did you know that there are organizations dedicated to combating email spam? Thank goodness, right? They set up a little thing called a honeypot, which is a planted email address that, when harvested and emailed, identifies the sender as a spammer. Similarly, things called spam traps can be created to identify spammy activity; they are set up when an email address yields a hard bounce because it is old or no longer valid, but still receives consistent traffic. Fishy, eh? As a result, the email address turns into a spam trap that stops returning the hard bounce notice, and instead accepts the message and reports the sender as a spammer.
Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers because its results, positive or otherwise, can be measured directly. For example, if a marketer sends out 1,000 solicitations by mail and 100 respond to the promotion, the marketer can say with confidence that campaign led directly to a 10% conversion. This metric is known as the ‘response rate’, and it is one of many clearly quantifiable success metrics employed by direct marketers. In contrast, general advertising uses indirect measurements, such as awareness or engagement, since there is no direct response from a consumer. Measurement of results is a fundamental element in successful direct marketing.
For sure, it doesn’t work having a CTA saying ‘Do as thousands. Sign up for our newsletter.’ That will lead the potential subscriber to think ‘am I just another subscriber?’ and will give the impression that the newsletter is just like all the others, left unopened and eventually deleted.
you are writing a lot about pop ups for building the list. I agree with you and do the same. However, from January 10, Google promises to start punishing the mobile sites with pop ups. In your opinion, how it will affect ecommerce sites and pop up providers?
Stage an event — lunch gathering, topic talk, book club or whatever works to get people in the door. Drop invitations at nearby businesses, post the notice on your front door, and advertise in local media. Ask people to RSVP with their email addresses.
Meeting the demands of the consumer revolution and growth in wealth of the middle classes that helped drive the Industrial Revolution in Britain, the 18th century entrepreneur and pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood pioneered many of the marketing strategies used today, including direct marketing.[2][3]
Finally, direct marketing is easy to optimize. Again, expanding on the above example, let’s say I carve out not just one sample size of 50, but two. I can send one offer to one group, and a variation of that same offer to the other and see which one produces better results. This is called split testing or A / B testing, and it’s extremely valuable, as it allows you to compare two approaches in a statistically significant way to choose the more optimal approach to introduce to the whole.
When you send an email, include a forward-to-a-friend link in case recipients want to forward your content to someone they think will find it interesting. Make sure the link directs newcomers to a page with your opt-in form.
Don’t put your profits in the hands of a third party, be in control of your email — OWN YOUR DATA, OWN YOUR AUTORESPONDERS, CONTROL YOUR INBOX DELIVERY, REPUTATION, DELIVERY SPEED and either send email for free using your SMTP or use any number of third party email senders of your choice like AMAZON SES API… No Monthly Fees!
There are plenty more things you could do here, but the great thing is that you have a valuable opportunity to spend slightly longer on your blog posts and repurpose them into another content type or create something 100% exclusive.
Is bounce rate an accurate metric to look at when valuing your email marketing campaigns and the quality of your marketing list? I don’t think so. Most of email blasts have an average bounce rate of 20%. It’s just the reality of it. Instead, I would use ROI as a standard metric for any type of marketing efforts.
Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and targeted television, newspaper, and magazine advertisements, as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response.
ISPs or email providers always look at what a subscriber is doing with his or her inbox, such as opening an email, clicking a link, reporting a message as spam, etc. If the engagement is good, this tells the ISP or email provider to route future emails to their inbox instead of the spam folder. As a result, the more a subscriber is engaged, the more frequently ISPs will route mail to the inbox.
So, building up lists of emails is a task you must put some effort behind in order to kick your email marketing efforts into gear. The problem is nobody really wants more email, particularly spam from unknown sources. When I talk about buying email lists, I’m am not talking about buying or renting so called opt-in lists from list brokers. I’m talking about offering something of value as a way to motivate someone to willingly exchange their email address with you in order to receive your offers and additional contact.
Thanks Rob. Single opt-in is definitely something to consider. I’m personally a fan of double optin because (as you said) you get less bad emails. But it’s a decision that depends on the person and business 🙂
After comparing key metrics like open rates and unsubscribes, you’ll be able to have an idea of which email performed better. Once you do, you can email the second 1⁄2 of your list with the “winning” email.

Choose your channel – Go back to the section on direct marketing channels and decide which one you are going to test. Consider which one you think will provide you with the highest ROI by weighing the setup and launch costs against the prospective response rate you hope to get through the channel. Do you think your market will respond better to email or telephone (or something else)? How much will it cost you to send a physical mail vs. an email?
This is one of the most interesting threads I have seen in a long time. It discusses a challenge that many of our customers face when trying to identify and increase their customer base. Whilst purchasing lists may reap rewards, the reality is that you just don’t know the quality of the email addresses you are obtaining.
Another form of direct marketing, insert media are marketing materials that are inserted into other communications, such as a catalog, newspaper, magazine, package, or bill. Coop or shared mail, where marketing offers from several companies are delivered via a single envelope, is also considered insert media.
A marketing program will also teach you how to acquire and interpret meaningful data, including how to obtain and analyze marketing lists. By applying the right analytical and statistical tools, you’ll be able to target a direct marketing campaign in order to increase the rate of response, and consequently, the return on investment.
Below, you’ll get a step-by-step look at what segmentation is (and why it works), as well as some simple, yet powerful pieces of advice on segmenting subscribers to maximize the impact of your email list.
I agree with the subject matter and disagree to some extent. Yes, it is true that; buying email lists is not ideal because with email marketing, the marketer is expected to have acquired a list through the rightful source and or format. What i mean is that; the person to be emailed must have given their consent to receive updates and or news which means by signing up.
Andrew Chen was one of leaders in implementing the homepage-as-signup-form. His main page has an additional little trick. When you first land on there, the email form is highlighted automatically, and you can start typing your email address without needing to even click.
Having a list of email addresses can be very beneficial for your business. It offers the opportunity to send those people email newsletters informing them about your products, services, special offers, and other stuff which can be a great way for you to increase your sales.
LeadPages* – This is a platform designed to help you create landing pages fast, it takes care of the hosting and integrates with WordPress while allowing you to download HTML to use with other systems. Price starts from $37/month. I use this for most of my landing pages.
Webinars are the perfect opportunity to talk about your industry and access the audience of thought leaders whom you might want to present with. The best part? Webinars are normally registered for via email, making your listeners more willing to be contacted afterward. Collect email addresses at registration.
However, none of that will ever become a reality, if you don’t have any subscribers. A lot of the people I talk to claim that it can be a costly affair to grow your email list – but that is a common misunderstanding I want to correct.
For the readers who do click through on your byline, seeing something like “Welcome [Guest Blog’s Name] Readers!” is surprising in a good way. This headline is personal and attention getting, and now that you’ve captured their attention, they’ll likely read on to see what your site is about.
Awesome stuff. I am using aweber and optimise press at the moment. What software would you recommend to create capture pages like the ones you’ve showcased above? I might of missed it if you mentioned it.. Will definitely test the pop-up opt-in.
I have been saying this again and again that old is not always the best and you should think about containing the wastage and optimizing the profits. Investing heavily in just getting the contact details is not a smart option. A moderate investment in getting the right contact database, which will not trouble you with bounced emails and out of service phone numbers should be the way to go, at least in today’s times when the competition is tough and even a penny profited counts.
Even if such a service did what it claimed to do (I am skeptical that it would reliably do so, but let’s suppose I concede you this point), it doesn’t address the other issues that arise from sending to non-permission email addresses (such as purchased lists).
Business-to-business lists will run even higher, usually starting at $250 CPM and running as high as $1,000 CPM for a very well targeted list. And yes, $1,000 CPM means that you’re paying a DOLLAR for each email address, and remember, that’s for a ONE-TIME use.
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But I think I’ve seen similar ones finding that users absolutley hate popups. Some will just throw an email in there to get them to go away. Others “x” out of them before they load and never come back.
Eventually, nearly 100 years later in 1967, Lester Wunderman coined the term “direct marketing” for the first time (Lester was also responsible for notable achievements such as the toll-free 1-800 number).
Creating an ebook or webinar with a partner can split up the work of content creation and allow you to share the audience of a similar business. After you release your content, split the leads you generate with your partner.
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